- Do some research first...
- Consult the online Help and the manual.
- Search the Internet, put key words about the problem into a Search Engine like DTS-L Fast Search .
- If you still can't find the answer, post to a newsgroup.
- First use the "Find" function on the newsreader to locate other messages about the problem.
- Decide where to post...
- Post to one general group if you are not sure which group
ask where the best place is to ask your question.
- How to compose your post...
- Create a new message, don't post a question of your own in response to another question.
- Make the "Subject line" a short, relevant synopsis of your problem.
- Before going into detail, clearly summarize the problem.
- Make a concise, clear description of the problem.
- Unless multiple problems seem related, do not mix them together, make separate posts.
- If you are getting error messages, include the exact text in the error message. If there is a "Details" button, click it and copy/paste the error message itself into the post.
- Tell if an error occurs when doing some action or using some particular software.
- What changed in your system shortly before the problem occurred? Knowing about a setting change or added software or hardware may be helpful in solving the problem.
- Briefly describe your machine, video card, CPU, amount of RAM, hard drive size and amount of free space.
- Identify clearly the steps and procedures you have already used to try to fix the problem.
- Proof-read and spell-check the post before sending.
- After you post...
- Be patient waiting for a response, it may take a couple of days or
more before the right person sees the question.
- You should carefully assess any advice you get. If there is bad information in a posted response, someone will almost always correct it. Ask for clarification if you aren't certain.
- If you don't get a response for a few days, it is probably because nobody knows the answer and you need to pursue other options...
- Once your problem is solved...
It is useful to post back to the group afterwards, saying thanks and that a suggestion worked (or not). That tells the group if it is a useful solution.
- Survival Camp: posting errors to avoid...
- Don't ask for an email reply unless absolutely necessary, and then follow up to the group with a summary.
- Avoid cross-posting, unless your problem clearly fits the category of more than one group.
- Never post separate identical messages to several newsgroups. This wastes respondents' time, and may result in you being ignored.
- Don't attach screen shots or files. If you believe a screen shot or file is critical to understanding your problem, advise that it exists and offer to send it.
- Don't post in ALL CAPITALS, it's too hard to read.
- Remove unnecessary included text from replies.
- Use punctuation.
- Stick to plain text, use html format only if necessary to explain your problem. The stationery groups are exceptions to this.
- Avoid poor subject lines like these:
- any experts around here?
- <Name of person> EMAIL ME!!!
- need help please
- Bill Gates is the Devil
- Read the MS Rules of Conduct